“The target for every player is to play for one of the tops clubs in the world and I can do it now, so I’m very happy.”
Those were the words of Spanish striker Fernando Torres, who at the time of moving to Chelsea from Liverpool did not know that he was embarking on a miserable run of scoring just 12 goals in 64 appearances.
But what he knew was that he would be challenging for top honours at a club fuelled by the ambitions of a Russian owner who would do anything to win.
Of course, it took more than a few managers being shown the exit door in a fit of impulsive decision making before Roberto Di Matteo pulled off the most miraculous job of winning the FA Cup in a season where Chelsea have been at their most inconsistent.
Liverpool fans all over the world were waiting for last night’s match, with statuses on Facebook saying ‘Let’s show Torres which is the bigger club.’
Sadly enough, they are now in hiding. Because somewhere, somehow, Fernando Torres knew he was doing the right thing by leaving Liverpool. Perhaps even their skipper Steven Gerrard knew that but he decided to stay – a decision he might be regretting now.
Ready to jump at every claim with the omnipresent argument of having a better history, Liverpool’s faithful will be riled at the fact that a club, which came to prominence over the last decade is now being deemed the better… bigger club.
Liverpool’s pride has been hurt more than anything else. And it is this pride that keeps a club like them going. Maybe Torres was not included in the FA Cup victory, but he has slowly been finding his feet and contributing vital passes. He may have lost a yard or two in pace, but his runs are still as intelligent as they were when he was at Liverpool.
Not to forget, he is the man who calmly rounded Victor Valdes to find the net and propel the Blues to a European final.
Liverpool’s fans may be unmoved for the time being. Their record of 18 league titles, seven FA Cups and five European crowns is one of the most enviable in the world of football.
But it was enviable even when Alex Ferguson took over at Manchester United…and 26 years later, displaced them as the top English club in the world. Chelsea have slowly started out on that track. It may take another 30 years for them to get there. But if Liverpool keep playing the way they are, then it can come sooner.
The truth is that Chelsea is in the European Champions League final. Chelsea have won the FA Cup four out of the six times they have been in the final of England’s oldest football trophy. Chelsea are challenging for top honours every other season. Chelsea has the power to buy Liverpool’s players.
The question Liverpool fans will be asking is: Are Chelsea the bigger club?
And they just need to hope that they are not engaging in a pointless rhetoric.